Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Simple minds: Belfast children haven't forgotten their 80s heroes

Simple Minds
Simple Minds

It's been quite a week for musical nostalgia in these parts. First Smiths linchpin Johnny Marr, then the release of Belfast punk movie Good Vibrations. Last night it was the turn of Simple Minds – the band who asked we don't forget about them.

Belfast clearly hadn't. The venue was crammed, mostly with men of 'a certain age' who had kept the faith.

The unmistakable throbbing bass of Waterfront brought the Waterfront to its feet. Thereafter, an astonishingly spritely 50-something Jim Kerr led a masterclass of stagecraft and crafty manipulation with a light show so bright and busy it was like a psychedelic air raid at times.

How he gets up and down without the aid of hydraulics is a marvel.

"It's such a pleasure to be back in Belfast. We've always had a great time here, even in the early days," he said with a sincerity that belied his former annoying Scottish Bono tag, just before conducting the crowd through Don't You Forget About Me.

Hits both good and bad, tight and turgid, but all unmistakably Simple Minds poured forth and made a lot of middle-aged men very, very happy indeed – Let There Be Love, Waterfront, All The Things She Said, Let There Be Love and New Gold Dream, to list but a fraction of the epic set.

Highlight of the evening was evil disco juggernaut of early 'not hit' I Travel. It was a stirring sight to see blokes in pot bellies frugging to a tune that's exactly as electrifyingly essential as Belfast Child isn't.

Last night was a reminder Simple Minds were once stadium rock giants on a par with U2, and before that, exciting electronic pioneers.

Nowadays they're the best Simple Minds tribute act in the business – and who better to do it?

There'll be sore limbs today, but none will belong to Jim Kerr.

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